Berwick lose out to powerful Percy Park
Young team show durability and tackling strength against superior opposition
It was a young Berwick side which traveled down the road to Newcastle to take on Percy Park in the first round of the Northumberland Plate. The team contained no less than 6 of last year's Colts team making their competitive debut for the First XV. Percy Park were physically stronger and a well drilled outfit. The whole Berwick team put in a stout performance full of bravery and good tackling technique. Percy Park were superior in the scrum where they held a considerable weight advantage and Berwick struggled with a youthful and slight pack conceding several stones to their opposite numbers. This physical advantage gave the home side a solid platform to build from and sustained pressure meant that the Berwick side got plenty of tackling practice. The whole team stuck at it and showed attacking flair of their own striking on the counter attack whenever they could. The whole team gave their all and against the smaller teams north of the Border the Berwick supporters will see more even contests with some very open and attacking play to follow. Berwick's score came through Duncan Hardie who gathered a cross field kick with some dexterity and burst through to touch down. Berwick came close at other times but Percy Park were simply the better side on this occasion.
Team Manager Owen Weatherhead was pleased with the player's application and commitment and felt it was another useful run out for the young team playing against a good side. Owen commented "It's always hard to bring such a high number of younger players into the First Team and expect them to hit the ground running. However they will have learned a huge amount from that game and in periods of the match they played some good rugby on the front foot. Our defence was tested and a few of the tries we lost were done to individual mistakes or missed tackles which at this stage of the season should be expected. We were a bit rusty but when the league gets underway in a couple of weeks I am confident we will be ready to go".